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How to study and prepare to be a participating author of wikipedia articles, following the guidelines and principles of wikipedia.

Tips on Authoring Wikipedia Articles

Author: Mike Tierney

Get comfortable with being a wikipedia user and reader first.  Read our tips on how to do this.

You don’t need to be a college graduate to author wikipedia articles, but you need to be a little bit comfortable with writing and research.  An adult education class in technical writing or creative writing may help.

English not your native tongue?  Wikipedia is multilingual. You could be our first mindfreedom watchdog for the Spanish version of wikipedia, or one of the others. If that happens, we will try to identify if any other members of the current Mindfreedom wikipedia team are multilingual.

Relax! Get all loose! 

Wikipedia will always have controversies. We can’t change all of wikipedia or the daily news or the real world either. We can only change how we react to the world, and how we communicate to other people, on the web or off.

Read the neutral point of view (NPOV) article at Note that ‘neutral point of view’ does not mean you can’t still have opinions about what you are writing about. It only means that you adopt a neutral style when writing… ‘just the facts’.

Read the wikipedia article about citations, sources and references   .

Go ‘behind the scenes’ at the ‘talk tab’ for the wikipedia article you are thinking about authoring. There you will see the collaborative authors for each topic ironing out the details, and sometimes disagreeing. Its ok to disagree with another author on the talk tab, but keep the focus of your comments on accurate citations, sources, references, and the necessity for the article to be written from a neutral point of view. Show via accurately sourcing external references [eg from newspapers, other neutral websites] that the wikipedia topic deserves to have a wikipedia entry.

If a fellow author really seems biased via their entries or talk page comments, click on the link for their ‘wikipedia handle’ or name to see if they have a wikipedia homepage (not everyone does). Does the homepage tell you about them. If they list their professon as ‘psychiatrist ‘ or ‘pharma company rep’, it might indicate they have personal and professional biases that might keep them from being good authors of an alternative mental health care wikipedia article. So far it seems like many of the wikipedia leaders and motivators at a certain level or above really do care  about the neutrality concept. It appears to be okay [in our recent experiences] to ask civil questions on the ‘talk tab’ about possible personal and professional biases. Stick to the facts.

One big discussion thread amongst wikipedia authors is whether many living people who are ‘semi-famous’ really deserve a wikipedia entry. Arguably, O.J. Simpson is famous (or infamous) enough to keep his page, but does Kato Kaelin really deserve his own page ?  You get the idea. The job of press agents and promotors is to get musicians, actors and film-makers who are NOT famous into the media somehow, but many of these folks probably don’t deserve a wikipedia page while starting out.

If you are adding references to a wikipedia article, also look at the way the ‘visible text’ on our mindfreedom reference links were done when the article ‘stabilized’.  We have been lucky enough to have at least one person on the MindFreedom wikipedia team who really knows how to do the references. Thanks MM !

Here they are [there are more in media section of MindFreedom web site — see ‘related content’ link at bottom.]

  • – MindFreedom International homepage
  • – “‘Mad Pride’ Fights a Stigma,” Gabrielle Galser, The New York Times (11 May 2008).
  • – “Freeing Your Mind”, Keith Goetzman, Utne (May/June, 2006)
  • – ‘Evolution of the Antipsychiatry Movement Into Mental Health Consumerism’, Psychiatric Services, Rissmiller and Rissmiller, 57 (6): 863 (2006)
  • – ‘Eli Lilly to bolster Zyprexa warning’, John Russell , Indianapolis Star (October 6, 2007)
  • – ‘Rights group up against Eli Lilly’, Susan Palmer, The Register Guard, (January 15, 2007)

Return to ‘what is wikipedia’.